Alternative Title

Sociocultural identities and their effects on eating diorder treatment access and efficacy

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Eating disorders-Treatment, Mental health services, Social marginality, Anorexia nervosa-Patients-Mental health services, Bulimia-Patients-Mental health services, Racism, Gender identity, Eating disorder, Social justice, Marginalized identities, Treatment, Bulimia, Anorexia, Trauma, Weight bias, Cultural humility, Gender, Obesity, Stigma, Research


The purpose of this study is to explore ways in which eating disorder treatment can be made not only more accessible, but more effective for clients who identify as people of color, lower-socioeconomic status (SES), trans and gender nonconforming, and people whose Body Mass Index (BMI) normal or higher at the time of treatment.

Data was collected using a survey, which was completed by 28 participants recruited through Facebook eating disorder recovery groups and Instagram. Participants were asked to describe their racial identity, gender identity, SES, and BMI, then reflect on the experience of seeking eating disorder treatment.

The findings suggest that individuals seeking treatment for eating disorders encounter barriers related to lack of insurance coverage, cost of care, and inability to leave school or work responsibilities. Individuals who perceive their identities to be incongruent with the societal image of eating disorder sufferers are less likely to seek treatment.




80 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-54)

Included in

Social Work Commons